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Storøya

Map Storøya

Gene­ral: Storøya mean­se ‘Big Island’, which must have been a joke, as the island appears to be small and lost behind the lar­ge Nord­aus­t­land. Becau­se of the dif­fi­cult ice con­di­ti­ons and not well char­ted waters, the island is dif­fi­cult to reach. It belongs to the Nor­the­ast Sval­bard Natu­re Reser­ve.

For more, detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on: the Gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard

Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Storøya

Geo­lo­gy: Most­ly cove­r­ed by an ice cap. The ice-free nort­hern part con­sists of base­ment doleri­te, as Kræ­mer­pyn­ten on the east side of Kvi­tøya; the­se rocks – being part of the base­ment – are qui­te rare in Sval­bard.

Recom­men­ded book for fur­ther, well-digesta­ble (real­ly!) info about geo­lo­gy and land­s­cape of Sval­bard.

Land­s­cape: Rocky low­land with some lakes, beaches with some drift­wood. The lar­ger part of the island is cove­r­ed by an ice cap with a clas­si­cal shape, simi­lar to its lar­ger neigh­bours on both sides, Nord­aus­t­land and Kvi­tøya.

Storøya. A lake in the barren tundra and the ice cap in the background.

Storøya. A lake in the bar­ren tun­dra and the ice cap in the back­ground.

Flo­ra and Fau­na: High arc­tic, Storøya is very bar­ren and does hard­ly any vege­ta­ti­on. Arc­tic terns breed here, and in 2005  Storøya has been con­fir­med as bree­ding site of the Sabine’s Gull which is extre­me­ly rare in Sval­bard. Wal­rus and polar bears are gene­ral­ly com­mon in the area.

Storøya
Storøya

Histo­ry: Swe­dish sci­en­tists did rese­arch on the ice cap in the 1960s, the­re are still the remains of a hut clo­se to the ice cap on the west side of Storøya. In July 2006, a gui­de of a group of tou­rists com­ing from the expe­di­ti­on crui­se ship MS Polar Star shot a polar bear in self defence. It was the first time in recent histo­ry (sin­ce polar bears beca­me pro­tec­ted in Sval­bard in 1973) that a polar bear was shot during a mee­ting with ship-based tou­rists.

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last modification: 2018-08-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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